Taking into consideration the life I had to endure with my two sons after my wife departed from the country fearing for her security. The marriage to my wife started at a very tough juncture at the time her parents and women in her community requested that she takes part in female genital mutilation. This situation was a total wakeup call in my life, having to realize that my wife might be a way for a while and I will be stuck with the 6 months and 2-year-old sons. This situation was tough for me since marriage meant a lot of commitment without letting go even when things have gone south. In any case, I was able to endure this tough test of time through the help of external individuals like the church that came in to help me with psychological and a bit of financial help whenever they could.
Earlier in my life, I endured a tough life with my siblings at the hands of my drunken father and a ran-away mother. Life was tough as we were always being abused by our father at all times we seemed to dissuade from his precedents. Iron fist rule was the form of enforcement of law and order in the home. At a micro level, my childhood and the first two years of my marriage were the most challenging times of my life. These situations made me the man I am today, strong willed, committed, trustworthy and very hardworking. All the above traits are acquired in the school of life where nothing comes with an explanation manual; you just have to figure things out yourself.
At the Meso level of life, I have been able to encounter different activities or situations that impacted my life. In many cases I was unable to reach out to someone to talk to whenever I had challenges with my work, taking care of the kids and worrying about my wife. All these stressor factors pushed me into going to church; the local church was very receptive of me. The pastor in the church regarded the people in there as part of the community. The pastor took me in, I was able to take part in a few church activities, and the pastor in many situations offered me psychological advice that helped me to sojourn in life. In many cases that I had too much stress, the pastor always talked to me and in other cases they would offer me small financial assistance to help out with my joblessness situation. My joblessness arose out of arriving to work late, not performing my duties as expected, calling for many off days due to my children’s health concerns. All these factors affected my relationship with my organizations, I was warned several times and later on I was retrenched out of the company. It was highly imperative that I lose my job since I was left alone with the kids since then my life changed tremendously. At the meso level, the church, my employers and the friends who constantly teased me to get another wife clearly impacted in my life. The church always taught me to have faith, the loss of my job taught me that you can never serve two masters and satisfy them both at ago and the rebuke from my friends always taught me to listen to my gut and never take in any bad advice.
At the macros level, female genital mutilations and the expectations of it as a right of passage to womanhood literary affected my marriage. It is rationally insensitive that a woman should go through FGM immediately after having her first two children like my wife, the process is very risk as it may impede normal delivery in the next pregnancy. The process can also lead to infertility and even contraction of a urinary tract infections. Cultural issues that were practiced in the old days when our parents were young does not make sense in our generation, we live in a generation full of enlightened people, availability of high-tech medicine, scientific explanations to activities and occurrences and female genital mutilations as a practice no longer fits anymore. When we talked to government officials about the issue of female genital mutilations, they shrugged the matter taking it as “cultural issues,” basically the government did not want to be part of the campaigns against such harmful acts. This form of cultural practices that are considered to be path towards woman hood is clearly the dangerous path for it to be taken by any reasonable young woman. In any case, this tradition needs to be decried in May African communities; the practices poises danger to the fertility of the woman, risk of infection of such as urinary tract infection and bladder stones. In any case, the communities practicing these backward traditions take advantage of misinformed young girls putting their health and sexuality at risk in a bid to continue practicing this weird culture.
Female circumcision which was generally acceptable over many communities is one of the major factors why my life was disorganized and I ended up without a wife and jobless at the same time. There was need for my wife to seek asylum in the neighboring country in order to avoid such ruthless practices performed by uneducated women in the village. It is important to acknowledge that in life there are circumstances that you are not able to have control over, the only way to avoid it is to go around it. This is the step that I and my wife decided, to go around the problem by making her unavailable at the time she was required to take part in the whole ordeal.
They say life gives you lemons and you make lemonades, one thing that I have learned about life is that you should strive to make the best out of everything that comes your way. In the many situations I have gone through in life, the one that has had the worse impact on me was growing up in an abusive family. My childhood life was characterized by violence from my father; beatings were a common thing in the home, and my mother was not an exception to this ordeal. In many scenarios that I was beaten, she would intervene for her kids but ended up being manhandled herself by my father. After her escape from the chaotic home, the punishments preceded as always wherever we did anything wrong in my father’s eyes. This situation made me to learn that teaching through the imposition of fear on your kids is not the best way to teach your kids obedience and respect. I came to realize that violence is not also the only way that you will have a trustworthy and loving wife in life. It is all about being there for each other all the time, not when they need you most as many would want to put it. The experiences I had in my earlier life changes one especially when one gets it into his or her mind that violence is the only way of getting what you want in life.
The community I grew up in was one of inclusive in development but was also a very cultural ethnic group. The community beliefs were paramount and they ought to be followed by all and sundry without question. When it came to the situation of conduction of genital mutilation to my wife, I felt that it was unacceptable. Even though it was culture and we ought to respect it but this, I saw it as barbaric and savage. I felt that the whole ordeal was unacceptable according to my beliefs, consultations with medical health specialists and even victims. I realized that the community or general public might have its ways of conducting affairs, but it doesn’t mean that they are entirely true. It is important to make decisions based on what you believe in your gut to be right. In life, you should never take part in activities just because everyone is doing it in the name of cultural customs.
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